It couldn’t come at a worse time. The Vancouver Canucks will be without Brock Boeser for what looks like the remainder of the regular season, the team announced Tuesday.
The Canucks dropped the bombshell a day after announcing that there would be another announcement in three weeks, so things have clearly changed – and not for the better.
Boeser is out a total of eight weeks with a rib cartilage fracture, which puts the recent acquisition of Tyler Toffoli in a whole new light. The Canucks are atop the Western Conference, but staying there will require help if Boeser isn’t in the picture. And getting into the post-season in a comfortable position is, naturally, the goal.
According to Benning, Boeser would not be requiring surgery at this time and should be in line to see a specialist sometime this week. If the eight-week designation holds, that’ll put his return right around April 4 – the last game of the regular season. If the Canucks are smart, they won’t rush the man back.
Vancouver also announced that Josh Leivo is out for the season. Both Leivo and Boeser are on the injured reserve list, joining Michael Ferland. He’s out for the season with post-concussion concerns.
The good news there is that the Canucks have a bit of wiggle room to fiddle with should the desire arise. That’s if Boeser stays on the shelf for the rest of the season, which seems probable.
Does that turn Vancouver into buyers come the trade deadline or are they content with Toffoli? That, of course, remains to be seen, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see some movement on the swap front soon-ish.
Benning is without a pick in either of the first two rounds of this upcoming draft, so he’s not going to want to part with much. If the Canucks make the post-season, as they seem likely to do right now, that means they cough up a first-rounder to Tampa as part of the J.T. Miller trade. That pick went to New Jersey over the weekend. So, there’s that.
Vancouver has seen their playoff cushion deflate somewhat thanks to a 2-4-1 run over their last seven and they’ll face the Wild at home Wednesday. Meanwhile, they’ll be scoreboard watching Tuesday as Winnipeg faces off against Los Angeles.
Photo credit: Darryl Dyck